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Meet Lucifer (“Lu”) the hippopotamus. He is a permanent resident of the Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park in Homosassa, Florida, and the only permanent resident there that isn’t native to Florida. The park recently had a birthday party for Lu’s 51st birthday (January 2011). Hippos typically live 40 to 50 years. Below is the story about this honorary Florida resident.
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From the Homosassa Wildlife Park’s website:
“Why, you may ask, is an African species found at a Florida park with all native wildlife? Well, Lucifer has lived here all his life. (See more info below) He was a big movie star when this was an exotic animal park. Local residents took a special liking to Lu and often visited him between his many movies. When the park went to strictly native species Lucifer was bound for a transfer. You can imagine the demand for a 6,000 pound hippopotamus is not particularly high. When the locals caught wind of the intended transfer they put up a fight to keep Lu here. Needless to say their voices were heard and Lu was granted honorary state citizenship.” Lu has been at this location since 1964.
More information from Floridasnapshot.com
“Lu, an African Hippopotamus, was born at the San Diego Zoo on January 26, 1960. He weighed 90 pounds at birth and now weighs more than 6,000 pounds. As a vegetarian, Lu consumes 15 pounds of alfalfa hay, four scoops of herbivore diet and a five gallon bucket of vegetables and fruit every day.”
Old Man Lu